REVIEW: Monster Energy Ultrá Rosa and Ultra Fiesta

Monster Energy Ultra Fiesta and Ultra Rosa

What are Monster Ultra Rosá and Ultra Fiesta?

The Monster Ultra stork has delivered two new arrivals to the energy drink’s zero sugar family in the form of Ultra Rosá and Ultra Fiesta.

How are they?

Monster Energy Ultra Rosa

Let’s start with Ultra Rosá, the more mysterious of the two. Let me explain the mystery. The color reminded me of cotton candy, and after about 10 attempts the best — and admittedly useless — description of the smell I could come up with is “fruity.” The can is also of little help, saying, in part, “Ultra Rosá is not what you think. Forget about pink lemonade, blush wine, guavas and strawberries.”

So what flavor is it? I truly have no idea, although if I had to pick one I’d say pink lemonade, despite the advice of the can. Although my description might be wholly inadequate, I can report that it’s an excellent flavor — not too strong, not too sweet, not too fruity. I celebrate the entire catalog of Monster Ultra flavors, and this just might be my favorite yet. It sort of tastes like summer, and summer is good.

Monster Energy Ultra Fiesta

While Ultra Rosá can is vague as far as the flavor, the vessel housing 16 ounces of Ultra Fiesta flat out tells you it’s mango. And when you open the can, there is no doubt, as the mango aroma is quite powerful.

The actual flavor, however, is a bit more subdued. Yes, there is a hint of mango in there, but overall I found it to be more of a general citrus flavor, perhaps with a bit of pineapple and orange. It almost reminded me of Mountain Dew with more of a citrus kick. Like the Ultra Rosá flavor, this one also gets a thumbs up from me.

Is there anything else you need to know?

Remember in grade school when someone at the lunch table mixed mustard, Goldfish crackers, part of a chicken nugget and some apple sauce together and dared someone else to eat it? Well, I was the one who tried those nasty concoctions, assuming of course that some kind of monetary reward was involved. So it was only natural for me to mix these two flavors together.

Monster Energy Ultra Mixa

The resulting color could best be described as dishwater, and it only tasted slightly better (please don’t ask how I know). For those of you that are of legal drinking age, I think either of these flavors would make excellent mixers, but mixing them together is not recommended.

Conclusion:

Monster Energy Ultra Fiesta Design

I’ve always liked the textured feel of Monster Ultra cans, as it gives me a warm feeling inside knowing that a surge of 150 milligrams caffeine will soon be flowing through my veins. I’ve never paid much attention to the design on the can, but the imagery on the Fiesta can is particularly eye-catching with it Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) theme. That all has nothing to do with the taste, but these are both excellent additions to the Monster Ultra lineup.

Purchased Price: $2.29 each
Size: 16 fl. oz.
Purchased at: 7-Eleven
Rating: 9 out of 10 (Rosá) 8 out of 10 (Fiesta)
Nutrition Facts: (1 can) 10 calories, 0 grams of fat, 370 (Fiesta) 380 (Rosa) milligrams of sodium, 6 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of sugar and 150 milligrams of caffeine.

REVIEW: Dairy Queen Double Fudge Cookie Dough Blizzard

Dairy Queen Double Fudge Cookie Dough Blizzard

What is the Double Fudge Cookie Dough Blizzard?

The Dairy Queen Blizzard of the Month for February includes vanilla soft serve forcibly mingled with chocolate chip cookie dough, choco chunks, and cocoa fudge.

How is it?

Dairy Queen Double Fudge Cookie Dough Blizzard Top

Pretty good for a Blizzard that’s basic in name and substance —- no movie tie-in with a cute play on words like the Jurassic Chomp and no declarations that it’s royal or outrageous in any way. It’s just the standard Cookie Dough Blizzard with more chocolate and more fudge. With that said, all the chocolate balances nicely with the non-chocolate part of the cookie dough. The dueling textures of the soft dough and crunchy choco chunks are also nice.

As an aside, sometimes I feel bad for whoever the Queen of Dairy has deemed worthy of creating and testing new Blizzard combinations for the kingdom to enjoy. Sure, it’s an awesome job and one that I would surely do for less money than whoever currently has said awesome job (note to any DQ exec reading this: please leave your contact info in the comments, and I’ll send my resume).

Dairy Queen Double Fudge Cookie Dough Blizzard Spoon

On the other hand, after all the monthly, seasonal, and special Blizzards over the years, it’s hard to come up with something truly unique. Case in point, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough was the Blizzard of the Month back in November…of 2010! The only difference here, after nearly a decade, is that this version has cocoa chunks and presumably double the fudge. Well done, unknown DQ employee, well done.

Is there anything else you need to know?

Dairy Queen Double Fudge Cookie Dough Blizzard Shark

I got a choco shark tooth in mine! Yes, I know it’s not as impressive as an Abe Lincoln-shaped Cheeto or the image of Kanye West appearing on a grilled cheese sandwich, but I thought it was pretty cool. Check eBay soon if you’d like the chance to own this rare and valuable piece of DQ history.

Conclusion:

This Blizzard falls into the category of satisfying but also forgettable. If you are a fan of action movies and The Rock, you know what I’m talking about. This is worth ordering next time you visit the realm of Dairy Queen, but it doesn’t quite rise to the level of worth ordering through DoorDash…unless you are really lazy, and can afford the mark-up and tip, and can deal with your Blizzard being slightly melted and not having a DQ employee flip it upside-down for your amusement. It’s not quite that good.

Purchased Price: $4.09
Size: Medium
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (Medium) 1,160 calories, 50 grams of fat, 28 grams of saturated fat, 1 gram of trans fat, 65 milligrams of cholesterol, 580 milligrams of sodium, 163 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of dietary fiber, 120 grams of sugar, and 19 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Hershey’s White with Whole Almonds

Hershey s White with Whole Almonds

What is Hershey’s White with Whole Almonds?

Let’s start with what it’s not -— white chocolate.

That caught me off guard a little, especially with this being from Hershey’s, but this candy bar contains no chocolate at all and instead is white creme with whole almonds.

How is it?

Hershey s White with Whole Almonds Front

It’s just OK. Maybe my expectations were too high because this product kind of gives off the aura of being a high-end candy bar, but I wasn’t impressed. The white creme reminded me of hardened cupcake frosting, and I’m not talking the decadent type like you get at those fancy $5-a-cupcake places. I’m talking overly sweet frosting on a cupcake you get a superstore that rhymes with Malwart. As for the almonds, they were fine and whole, as promised. They were also lined up nicely down the center of the bar.

Hershey s White with Whole Almonds Back

Is there anything else you need to know?

No, you don’t need to know the following information, but I’m going to give it to you anyway. I spent nearly two minutes researching what creme was, and I learned it could be a sweet liqueur or a type of cream.

But, of course, I got distracted during my extensive inquisition and focused on the accent in crème, and more specifically, why the Hershey’s wrapper didn’t have said accent. I found no answer to that question, and I didn’t really care that much to begin with, so I gave up.

But I learned that the particular accent mark in crème is called a grave accent. That sent me down a rabbit hole of punctuation names that are just fun to say and even sound a little dirty, like rough breathing (look it up, I’m not lying), retroflex hook, inverted breve, and perispomene. So have fun with those.

Conclusion:

Hershey s White with Whole Almonds Side

This is certainly worth a try if you like almonds; it is a candy bar after all, and it will definitely hit the spot if you have a hankering for something sweet. But if you are looking for an indulgent treat that will give you the weird, pleasure-filled expression you see on commercials when people are trying some fancy candy, then this one misses the mark.

Purchased Price: 99 cents
Size: 1.45 oz. bar
Purchased at: H-E-B
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 bar) 220 calories, 14 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 35 milligrams of sodium, 22 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of dietary fiber, 18 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Dairy Queen Peppermint Hot Cocoa Blizzard

Dairy Queen Peppermint Hot Cocoa Blizzard

What is the Peppermint Hot Cocoa Blizzard?

The Dairy Queen Blizzard of the Month for December features candy cane pieces, choco chunks, and cocoa fudge, blended of course with DQ’s signature vanilla soft serve.

How is it?

Dairy Queen Peppermint Hot Cocoa Blizzard 2

This one definitely makes Santa’s nice list, and I was genuinely surprised how much I enjoyed it. On their own, the candy cane and hot cocoa flavors are pretty good, but together they teamed up to get my taste buds ready to celebrate the holidays all month long.

Dairy Queen Peppermint Hot Cocoa Blizzard 3

The cocoa fudge flavor certainly doesn’t scream hot cocoa (which by the way is always fun to scream for no reason at all), but it does provide a more complex chocolatey taste compared to the regular fudge and the hints of cocoa blend perfectly with the choco chunks and candy cane pieces.

Peppermint can be an overpowering flavor, but with this Blizzard there was enough to deliver that crunchy candy cane sweetness and distinctive taste while also letting the chocolate flavors join the party. I also liked the two different sensations with the hard candy crunch mixed with the softer crunch of the choco chunks.

Is there anything else you need to know?

This Blizzard is a cousin to the Candy Cane Chill and Candy Cane Oreo Blizzards that have appeared and disappeared like the Elf on the Shelf over the past few years, but I like this the best of the three. It’s unique enough to stand out among the Blizzard family in which some are too closely related.

Dairy Queen Peppermint Hot Cocoa Blizzard 4

The whipped topping speckled with candy cane pieces is a nice added touch here, especially if you are looking for the big burst of peppermint flavor that is missing from the rest of the treat.

Unlike some recent Blizzard flavors that were labeled as seasonal and seemed to be hanging around for a while, this one will be gone by New Year’s Day, so dash into your local DQ soon if you want to try one.

Conclusion:

With DQ introducing so many new Blizzards each year, along with several “let’s pretend it’s a new Blizzard even though we’ve had it in the past and just hope you forgot about it,” this one truly does rise above most others and is a great holiday treat.

Purchased Price: $3.99
Size: Small
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (Small) 750 calories, 26 grams of fat, 16 grams of saturated fat, 1 grams of trans fat, 50 milligrams of cholesterol, 230 milligrams of sodium, 120 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of dietary fiber, 100 grams of sugar, and 13 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Dairy Queen Harvest Berry Pie Blizzard

Dairy Queen Harvest Berry Pie Blizzard

What is the Harvest Berry Pie Blizzard?

It’s harvest time in the Dairy Queen kingdom, and the realm’s loyal subjects have rounded up a trifecta of berries – raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries — to mix with pie pieces and vanilla soft serve. It’s not the Blizzard of the Month for September though, as the retread Pumpkin Pie Blizzard gets that title, even though that version seems better suited for October or November.

How is it?

Dairy Queen Harvest Berry Pie Blizzard 3

Berry good. I mean very good. Of course, my Blizzard looked nothing like the promotional photo with plump berries happily swimming with their pie piece friends in an ice cream vortex. I could only find one near-intact berry on top, but there were plenty of berry pieces throughout and the crunch of the pie pieces added a nice texture to the softness of the fruit.

Dairy Queen Harvest Berry Pie Blizzard 2

It would be interesting to see how this Blizzard tastes with just one or two types of berries mixed in because the combination of all three creates an indistinct, somewhat tart berry flavor. What flavor is it? Is purple berry a flavor? It’s not a bad flavor. It’s just nothing special. Even when I got a decent size chunk of fruit in a bite, it was hard to tell which one it was with the other two berries also fighting for the attention of my taste buds.

Is there anything else you need to know?

You might think that with three types of fruit this Blizzard would be healthier than other DQ concoctions. Well, you’d be wrong. I guess it doesn’t matter what you mix in with soft serve and pie pieces because the result is going to be a high-calorie and high-carb sugar bomb. Even though this looks more like a smoothie than a Blizzard, nutritionally speaking it’s about the same as the ones loaded up with chocolate and candy. And most smoothies are not that healthy either. If you’ve ever looked at the nutritional info, they are also packed with sugar and carbs, which is precisely why they taste so good.

And as the photos attest, my local DQ apparently has no mini Blizzard cups, nor did they last time I visited. The coffee cup certainly did the job to insulate my treat and keep it from melting, but it’s still a bit off-putting to see a picture of steaming coffee as I wolf down a Blizzard.

Conclusion:

You can safely order this Blizzard without fear of having your mind blown, socks knocked off, world being rocked or other cliché of your choice, but the Harvest Berry Pie Blizzard is a nice change of pace if you are looking for something without chocolate and candy that will give you or your loved ones the false impression that you are trying to eat something healthy.

Purchased Price: $2.99
Size: Mini
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (Mini) 380 calories, 16 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 25 milligrams of cholesterol, 190 milligrams of sodium, 52 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 39 grams of sugar, and 7 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Pillsbury Churro Toaster Strudel

Pillsbury Churro Toaster Strudel

What is the Pillsbury Churro Toaster Strudel?

A marriage between the theme park treat and a fancy Pop-Tart, aka Toaster Strudel. As always, these require some manual labor, first figuring out how to separate and then open the icing packet, and then put it on the pastry. Then the race is on to finish the Toaster Strudel before the icing liquifies from the heat.

How is it?

Pillsbury Churro Toaster Strudel Art

Underwhelming, much like my attempt to recreate the pastry art pictured on the box. These really aren’t bad, but they really aren’t churro flavored either. I had to ask my taste buds to dig down deep to find even a hint of anything resembling churro or cinnamon flavor. The best way I can describe the filling is nondescript sweet, warm goo.

Pillsbury Churro Toaster Strudel Closeup

Pillsbury Churro Toaster Strudel Uncooked

Looking at the photo on the box, it seemed to show something extra going on with the pastry crust—either cinnamon mixed in or perhaps little flakes of churro pieces. But I couldn’t distinguish anything different about the crust compared to a regular Toaster Strudel. The icing was chocolatey, as promised, with almost a pudding taste rather than a standard chocolate sauce. If someone had given me this without any hint as to the flavor, I’m not sure I would have guessed churro.

Is there anything else you need to know?

You can get drunk off these! OK, actually you can’t, but they do contain chocolate liquor. Sadly, it’s the very last ingredient listed (after the always delicious locust bean gum), so you are fine to eat a few of these and hop behind the wheel. Just don’t go swimming for 30 minutes.

Pillsbury Churro Toaster Strudel Mascot

On another completely random subject, if you are ever in San Antonio, you can find some delicious churros in the Market Square, along with what is likely one of the only churro mascots in the world. Just don’t give him one of these Toaster Strudels.

Conclusion:

If I was in a rush one morning and grabbed one of these without looking at the box, I would probably be satisfied and go off to work contemplating new ways to waste time while being paid. But I was expecting some kind of churro flavor, and this one misses the mark on that.

Purchased Price: $2.06
Size: 11.7 oz box (6 pastries)
Purchased at: H-E-B
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (for 2 pastries with icing) 370 calories, 14 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 390 milligrams of sodium, 56 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of dietary fiber, 18 grams of sugar, and 5 grams of protein.